Tuesday, 16 February 2010
New! Me And Giulio Romano Down By The Schoolyard
It’s good, useless fun to pre-emptively define the times you live in. Nicholas Bourriaud’s confusingly limned term “Altermodern,” used to define works in last year’s Tate Triennial and, by extension, contemporary society as a whole, dropped out of parlance as soon as we got used to its pronunciation. Charles Saatchi’s 1999 show, New Neurotic Realism – a compendium of mainly loose-limbed realist painting, including Cecily Brown, Martin Moloney, and Dexter Dalwood – was an unsuccessful attempt at drawing the line under the YBAs. Even Rauschenberg’s and Johns’s “Neo-Dada” back in the late-50s had a lame-duck ring about it. It’s not only our era that has found its unique identity nigh-impossible to define, although the teeth-grinding muddling over “aughts” and “aughties,” “naughts” and “naughties” is perhaps the one thing that is definitively of our time: an anxiety over what our era is actually defined by. (Imagine a “naughts” or “naughties” theme party – well, you won’t have to for long – and you get the picture). Art writers suffer from pre-emptive epochal-definition disorder almost as much as music writers do (remember the New Wave of New Wave? No?), but something particular has entered the argument recently — an attempt to define today’s art in reference to the art of the past, in particular, to the art of Mannerism.
Read the whole thing here.